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Series I. Biographical Materials, 1908-1997

Scope and Content Notes:

This series contains material related to Butts’ upbringing, his personal life, and his relationships and activities outside of the professional community. Many of the documents are from the period of approximately 1943 to 1952, which encompasses Butts’ high school and undergraduate education. During this time, he was active in school and community activities such as Key Club, theater, student government, and the high school newspaper. From 1944-1945, Butts corresponded with his brother, who was stationed on the European front of World War II. He was also an avid writer in his youth; a number of folders and notebooks in this series are dedicated to poetry and prose that Butts wrote during his high school and college years.

The material from Butts’ later life in this series is concentrated on memorabilia such as invitations and newspaper clippings pertaining both to events in Butts’ own life and current events and topics that were of interest to him. There is also a large group of brochures and guides from his travels in Europe during the 1980s and 1990s.

Subseries 1. Educational Documents, 1941-1952

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries consists of report cards and other administrative materials relating to Butts’ education at the various institutions described above. Some material, mainly consisting of diplomas and other educational certificates, has been removed due to size restrictions and placed in Box 29.


Box 1
Folder 1 Report Cards, 1941-1947
Folder 2 Educational Documents from Syracuse, 1947-1952

Subseries 2. Schoolwork and Early Writings, 1945-1957

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries documents Butts’ development as a writer and scholar from high school through his years as a graduate student at Penn and Syracuse. It includes formal assignments as well as personal reflections and creative projects. The material in this series is unpublished and predates Butts’ formal work as an academic researcher.

Folder 3 Notes and Assignments
Folder 4 Pressed Flower Collection, 1945
Folder 5 12th Grade English Notebook, 1946-1947
Folder 6 Poetry and Prose from High School and College, 1947-1949
Folder 7 Graduate School Papers, 1952-1954

Box 2
Folder 1 Poetry and Prose, 1947-1951
Folder 2 Doctoral Dissertation, Part 1: "Husserl’s Criticism of Hume’s Theory of Knowledge," University of Pennsylvania, 1957
Folder 3 Doctoral Dissertation, Part 2: "Husserl’s Criticism of Hume’s Theory of Knowledge," University of Pennsylvania, 1957
Folder 4 Master Thesis "Man in a World: The Ethics of Existentialism," Syracuse University, May 1952

Subseries 3. Memorabilia, 1908-1997

Scope and Content Notes:

The items in this subseries document the broad variety of Butt’s private activities and interests. Over the course of his life, he collected newspaper clippings documenting achievements and milestones for himself and his family, as well as some current events and general topics of interest; programs and brochures from various events he participated in or attended; and maps, brochures, and souvenirs from his travels, especially those in Europe during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. This subseries also includes items such as report cards and yearbooks that belonged to Butts’ father and older brother.


Box 3
Folder 1 Artwork by Butts and Others
Folder 2 George Butts, Sr. School Materials, 1908-1923
Folder 3 George Butts, Sr. Lancaster High Yearbook (2 Copies), 1918
Folder 4 George Butts, Jr. School Projects
Folder 5 George Butts, Jr. School Notes
Folder 6 Clippings on George Butts, Jr.
Folder 7 Clippings on George Butts, Sr., 1937
Folder 8 Clippings on Death of Elizabeth A. Saylor Butts, 1942
Folder 9 High School Yearbook, 1947
Folder 10 High School Newspapers, 1945-1947
Folder 11 High School Certificates and Awards, 1943-1947
Folder 12 High School Invitations and Programs, 1944-1947
Folder 13 High School Current Events (Clippings)
Folder 14 High School Sports (Clippings)
Folder 15 High School Theater (Clippings)
Folder 16 High School Key Club (Clippings)
Folder 17 High School Graduation (Clippings), 1947

Box 4
Folder 1 Army Publications from World War II
Folder 2 Official Army Photographs from World War II
Folder 3 World War II Ration Books
Folder 4 Syracuse University, 1952
Folder 5 University of Pennsylvania, 1952-1957
Folder 6 Phi Sigma Tau National Honor Society for Philosophy, 1956
Folder 7 High School Reunion (Clipping)
Folder 8 Birth and Wedding Announcements and Invitations
Folder 9 Creationism (Clippings)
Folder 10 George Rockwell Visits Bucknell (Clippings), 1961-1962
Folder 11 Issues of Western News, 1990-1996
Folder 12 Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal, Grandmother's 100th Birthday, December 5, 1979
Folder 13 Personal Forecast and Life Development Chart Prepared by Irene Hughes of Astral Sciences International, 1991
Folder 14 Notes Found in Books from Butts' Personal Library
Folder 15 Event Programs, 1972-1994

Box 5
Folder 1 Souvenirs
Folder 2 Travel - Association Terre de Rhedae
Folder 3 Guidebooks
Folder 4 Maps and Brochures
Folder 5 Travel Receipts and Expense Reports, 1973-1996
Folder 6 Executive Travel London Ltd. (Correspondence and Paperwork), 1982-1985

Box 6
Folder 1 Album of Travel Brochures and Postcards

Subseries 4. Material Related to Butts' Death, 1997

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries consists mostly of correspondence that occurred between his widow and grieving family, friends, and colleagues after Butt’s sudden death in 1997. Also included are some funeral plans and copies of obituaries from various publications.

Folder 2 Letters from Valentine Watson Rodgers to Friends, Family, and Colleagues, 1997
Folder 3 Obituaries and Funeral Plans, 1997
Folder 4 Condolences (Notes and Cards), 1997
Folder 5 Condolences (Letters and Emails), 1997

Subseries 5. Personal Correspondence

Scope and Content Notes:

The correspondence in this subseries is mostly of a general nature, consisting of notes, letters, and cards that Butts exchanged with various family members and friends over the course of his life. Of particular note are the 1944-1945 letters from his older brother, who was stationed in Europe during World War II. Due to their private and/or sensitive nature, a large number of documents from this subseries are included in the restricted material described at the beginning of this finding aid.

Folder 6 Childhood Correspondence, 1935-1936
Folder 7 Correspondence with George Butts, Jr. During WWII, 1944-1945
Folder 8 General Correspondence with Friends and Family, 1982
Folder 9 High School Alumni Association, 1982-1995
Folder 10 Vendors and Organizations, 1976-1985
Folder 11 Postcards and Greeting Cards, 1942, 1983-1994
Folder 12 Christmas Cards
Folder 13 Birthday Cards (Mostly 60th), 1988

Subseries 6. Photographs

Scope and Content Notes:

Most of the photographs in this subseries are family photographs from Butts’ youth, including both studio portraits and candids, and group photos of student organizations from his time at Manheim Township High School. Images that hung framed in his office, many of them of Kant, comprise another significant portion of this subseries. Of particular note is the baby book that Butts’ parents filled out for him shortly after his birth in 1928; an infant’s knit garment in excellent condition was found tucked into the back cover and remains in the file.


Box 7
Folder 1 Portrait of Butts, Brother George, and Mother Elizabeth
Folder 2 George Butts, Sr. and Brother John Butts
Folder 3 George Butts, Sr. Holding George Butts, Jr.
Folder 4 Family Vacation
Folder 5 Class Photo, possibly of George Butts, Sr.
Folder 6 Baby Photo of "George," possibly George Butts, Jr.
Folder 7 Unidentified Baby Photos
Folder 8 Portraits of Butts and Brother George as Children
Folder 9 High School
Folder 10 High School Theater
Folder 11 High School Sports
Folder 12 Signed Portraits of Performers
Folder 13 Framed Photo: "O. Baumberger: Zwingli - Schweiz. Komission fur gute religiose Bilder"
Folder 14 Family Photos
Folder 15 Photos of Kant
Folder 16 Miscellaneous Family Photos
Folder 17 Travel Photos
Folder 18 Polaroids and Slides of Silversmith Work
Folder 19 Album of Postcards and Photos
Folder 20 Baby Book
Folder 21 Art Slides